The Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation on Houses in Multiple Occupation (“HMO”) called Houses in multiple occupation and residential property licensing reforms.
The consultation sets out proposals to increase the number of properties that will require a mandatory HMO licence and therefore bring more properties into the HMO licensing regime. The following changes are proposed and are the subject of the consultation:
- Regardless of the number of storeys, all properties with 5 or more people living as 2 or more households are licensable properties that will fall within the mandatory licensing regime
- Extend mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises
- Set a minimum room size of 6.52sqm
Although this is just a consultation, it would appear the Government is keen to increase the number of properties that fall within the HMO licensing regime. This could lead to more expense for landlords, and possibly higher rents for tenants, as landlords look to recover their expenditure by increasing the rent.